Oct 5, 2012 7:00am PDT
, that has triggered an avalanche of criticism. >> reporter: it was not the first time pbs has been targeted. it was, maybe, the most prominent platform. >> i'm going to stop subsidy to pbs. i'm going to stop other things. i like pbs, i love big bird actually like you, too. but i'm not going to keep spending money on things to boro money from china to pay for it. >> reporter: the second he uttered those words, twitter nearly tumbled over. 17,000 big bird tweets per minute. the social network said it was the most tweeted about political event in u.s. history. ari fleischer, press secretary to george w. bush big bird needs to ask dora the explorer how she manages to survive without federal money. try it big bird. you'll be just fine. joan rivers attention pbs, if mitt romney fire big bird i'm ready to fill in. i've got the perfect outfit. president obama did not pounce directly during the debates but did thursday on the trail. >> when asked what he would actually do to cut the deficit and reduce spending he said he would eliminate funding for public television.
Oct 3, 2012 6:00pm PDT
the magnus arena at the university of denver in denver, colorado. i'm jim lehrer of the pbs newshour and i welcome you to the first of the 2012 presidential debates between president barack obama the democratic nominee and former massachusetts governor romney, the republican nominee. this debate and the next three-- two presidential, one vice presidential-- are sponsored by the commission on presidential debates. tonight's 90 minutes will be about domestic issues and will follow a format designed by the commission. there will be six roughly 15-minute segments with two-minute answers for the first question. then open discussion for the remainder of each segment. thousands of people offered suggestions on segment subjects or questions via the internet and other means but i made the final selections and, for the record, they were not submitted for approval to the commission or the candidates. the segments, as i announced in advance, will be three on the economy and one each on health care, the roll of government, and governing. with an emphasis throughout on differences, specifics and choices